tv MSNBC Live MSNBC August 25, 2013 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
good sunday afternoon. i'm craig melvin. you're watching msnbc. right now we're monitoring the fast-moving developments in and around syria, as inspectors search for proof of chemical warfare. the push for action gets stronger. >> i think we will respond in a surgical way. i think we have to respond. >> this has to be an international operation. it can't be unilateral american approach. >> in both egypt and syria, america has to take a much more clever role. >> we'll get the latest from the white house. but that is not the only pressure on the president. >> i think now is the single best time to stop obama care. >> stop talking about impeachment. let's have a legitimate debate.
let's fight his policies. let's try to appeal obama care. >> gop leaders are split on the push for impeachment as the opposition to defund obama care continues in earnest. and later -- >> if a church is off limits, if the sanctuary of god is not off limits, if people are so malice and mean-spirited, what has become of our nation. >> retracing the steps of the civil rights movement, and confronting some of the ghosts which still haunt the city of birmingham today. we'll get to those stories in just a moment. we start, though, with that developing news in syria at this hour. new information from washington, and the international community. allegations about the chemical weapons attack by the assad regime. i'm joined by nbc's ayman mohieldin. and kirsten at the white house. >> reporter: they've reached an
agreement allowing u.n. inspectors to visit the site of an alleged weapons attack that happened a few days ago. keep in mind that the u.n. undersecretary-general for disarmament arrived in damascus yesterday to press the syrian government to give u.n. inspectors access. today it seems the access has been granted. however, it will not be free of any interference from the syrian government. this is according to the syrian news agency, u.n. inspectors will have to coordinate their movements with the syrian government. that means they will have to give them notification where they're going to go, what time they're going to go. that may limit the u.n. in terms of what they will see, who they will speak to, and the kind of access they are given overall. the syrian government has been denying any responsibility over the alleged chemical weapons attack. they insist that this was something carried out by syrian rebels. in fact, images on state tv yesterday showed what they alleged were chemical weapons in areas controlled by rebels.
meanwhile, the international nongovernmental organization, doctors without borders, said they treated more than 3,600 patients in and around damascus, in which 350 died. they said all displayed symptoms consistent with neurotoxic agents. that is the latest indication, at least from the reporting on the ground, that chemical weapons of some sort were used. it's obviously the united states and other countries weigh any possible response, including a military option against syria. many warn any intervention inside syria would not end favorably for the united states or all eyies in the region. >> now for the white house perspective. we turn to nbc's chris ten welker. despite this news, jack reed urging caution this morning against broad u.s. military intervention. >> this has to be an
international operation. it cast be a unilateral american approach. it has to have support internationally, but not just politically, but militarily. we have to make it very clear what our objective is, which is, we will not tolerate these weapons of mass destruction. not only by the syrians, but by anyone else. >> what are you hearing from the white house regarding any sort of potential u.s. action? >> reporter: well, first of all, on the point of having an international coalition, i can tell you that according to one top u.s. official, administration officials are talking to their allies behind the scenes, britain, france, turkey, trying to make sure if there is any action by the united states, that there is international support for that action. but the president at this hour still trying to determine exactly how to respond to the allegations of chemical use inside syria. the white house putting out a pretty strong statement today, though, saying that based on the evidence, it appears there's little doubt chemical weapons
weren't used. so that's the headline right now. in terms of how the administration might respond, we know that president obama has taken the option of putting boots on the ground off the table. we also don't expect him to decide to establish a no-fly zone. what is more likely, craig, what is under consideration is a possible limited air strike that would come from potentially a navy warship. we know that there are four warships in the mediterranean which have been there for some time. they are being kept in the region. so that is certainly one possibility under consideration at this hour. meetings have been going on throughout the weekend. president obama sat down with his national security team on saturday. he's out playing a game of golf right now, craig. but i know that meetings are going on with top-level officials, and have been throughout the weekend. and will continue in the coming days. craig. >> kristen welker, thank you. esther, a political commentator and play right, bob has never
written a play, but he's a columnist. and peter suitorman. good to see all of you on a sunday. pete, let me start with you. is syria just the latest issue straining the president's relations with congress? some republican lawmakers have been talking openly about impeachment. senator tom coburn stoking that fire last week at a town hall meeting in oklahoma. >> barack obama's a personal friend of mine. he became my friend in the senate. but that does not mean i agree in any way with what he's doing, or how he's doing it. and i, quite frankly, think he's in a difficult position he's put himself in. and if it continues, i think we're going to have another constitutional crisis in our country in terms of the presidency. >> and he said it with a straight face, peter. why is this an issue that is coming up now? >> you know, if that's how
coburn talks about his friends, i would hate to see how he talks about his enemies. look, this is what happens in a second term. we saw talk of impeachment amongst some democrats, certainly among the democratic base in bush's second term. during the last presidency. this is the kind of thing that happens. it also happens in august when congress is out of session, when they're back home talking to the base. in a lot of ways this is just the gop establishment, gop legislators reflecting the republican base's deep, deep opposition to obama. i don't think this is something that's going to go anywhere. john boehner has basically said this is not a real issue. the other thing, though, is that it reflects the gop's lack ofns policy issues. they don't actually have a lot that they want to do policywise, so this is the kind of thing that gets brought up. >> esther, i wish that people would call this what it is. pandering.
it's pandering of the worst order. coburn is not a fringe gop politician. he's not a fringe guy. he's a smart guy. mainstream. level-headed. ala lindsey graham a few years ago when he was talking about naturalization. they know full well this isn't going to happen. but they get in these town hall meetings and people show up with their pitch forks, and burning the president in effigy -- not literally -- but why pander like this? >> for me, i wouldn't call it pandering, but what i definitely think it is they're practicing the politics of deflection. they have no real cohesive leadership. their intent is to make sure that the town halls do not focus on the lack of what the gop has. instead, there's constant deflection, let's shine the light on what the president's doing, defund obama care. obama care is now law. what do you think you're going
to defund? but by continually having that conversation, what the town hall folk are not doing is holding those gop, same folk, to account for their complete lack of cohesive policy about the things that matter to their own base. >> bob, republicans keep parroting on the lack of leadership in the oval office. you wrote this week, the narrative that describes them, the president as a weak leader, can become self-fulfilling, and discourage his supporters. so while the obama family is enjoying the unconditional love of a second pop, his adversaries continue to mark washington as their territory. daring the president to show that he's not all bark and no bite. by the way, that's a great line, bob franken. how does president obama, how does he answer that dare that you write about? >> tom coburn is a friend. it's easy to see why they got another dog.
you know, right now, the capitol should be renamed area 51, because there's all this out-of-this world kind of discussion going on. impeachment used to be such an extreme measure. but now it's the kind of thing, it's just tossed around. as far as defunding obama care, you heard republicans saying, we need to debate obama care. i believe they did that when they passed it. >> you know, the supreme court, one would think, sort of settled the matter. but bob, going back to what esther was just talking about, you would think at some point, even at these town hall meetings, would wise up and realize, when there have been -- you know, when they're being made fools of, to a certain extent. >> made fools by whom? i think that right now, there's not a lot of deep thinking that goes into town hall meetings. it's an awful lot of people vetting. nobody wants to deal with the complexities of issues like health care in the united states. so they're easily demagogued. i think that's what we're
seeing, a lot of demo going tory. >> the republicans have effectively used the politics of fear. so let's keep the people scared in all these different ways and never ensure that their focus is actually on us. because these are the people who actually represent you. if you were to ask those town halls, identify the policies the gop has an opposition party that actually represent you, i wonder how many of them could actually do that. the republicans have become effective at simply saying it's obama, it's impeachment, it's defund obama care, everything but us. >> the brain trust will be back later in the hour. we look forward to having all three of them. when we come back, though, the first black woman to grace the cover of "vogue" magazine is being honored tonight. we're going to tell you where, and we'll also talk with beverly johnson herself. new york's attorney general
when former u.s. army soldier bradley manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison on wednesday, it made headlines. however, it was this moment on the "today" show the next day that was arguably even bigger news. >> let's talk about mr. manning personally. i mean, he has provided a statement that he wants us to read, and this is part of it. as i transition into this next phase of my life, i want everyone to know the real me.
i am chelsea manning, i am a female. given the way i've felt since childhood, i want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. i also request starting today you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun. >> so what will this mean for her time in prison? joining me live now, founder of the national transgender equality, and mason davis executive director of the transgender law center. mason, let me start with you. is chelsea manning who you want representing the transgender community? >> well, certainly transgender issues have been in the spotlight since miss manning came out this week. she is an unusual figure in america these days. but some of the challenges that she will face are not dissimilar from those faced by other transgender people. it's scary to come out as a transgender person, whose birth sex is different than who we know we are on the inside. she is now starting a big step
in her life as she goes through the process of becoming who she really is. >> mauera, manning's attorney, he talked about his client's motivation for the announcement on the "today" show as well. let's take a listen to that. >> is the ultimate goal here for her/him, to be in a female population, a female prison? >> i think the ultimate goal is to be comfortable in her skin and be the person she's never had the opportunity to be. >> what does the timing of this announcement mean for manning's safety heading into prison, maura? >> well, transgender people in any kind of prison, whether civilian or military face some really horrible things that often happen with a greater frequency than other people. sexual assault, denial of medical treatments. i think this is the point at which from manning's point of view and manning's attorney's point of view, they have to be speaking up. this is a problem as mason mentioned, it's been having for
decades, if not centuries, that transgender people are forced to face severe violations of their human rights in prisons. i would hope right now that the military is really trying to figure out how to solve all of the sexual assault problems facing the military, whether in prison or in normal combat times. >> you just alluded to some of the abuse. your organization analyzed a justice department department from may and found one in three former inmates, transgender, was sexually abused. what kind of protections should be put in place to try and stop that? >> well, the department of justice has issued rules for implementing the prison rate elimination act. congress decided in the mid-2000s that sexual assault in prison, we've had enough of it as a society. nobody should be sentenced to
sexual assault. so bipartisan congress passed the prison rape elimination act. the department of justice has now implemented it for civilian jails and prisons. the department of homeland security is about to finalize their rules for immigration detention. and we would really like to see the military accelerate their processes to put the prison rape elimination act in place for military prisons. >> mason, what kind of elements of living as a woman will manning be allowed in prison? >> well, that's one of the reasons we need good regulations established by the military to make sure that she is able to be treated with respect, and is able to be safe while she's incarcerated. we know that the courts have a legal obligation to provide adequate medical care to all prisoners, including transgender prisoners, given the widespread medical agreement that trans
gender care is necessary. she needs to get the care she needs while incarcerated. >> you said it's an accepted psychiatric treatment, and in some cases sex changes as well. but in manning's case, the army has said, it does not and will not provide the hormone replacement therapy that manning has requested. are there grounds, potential grounds for litigation here, mason? >> yeah, we don't think this is the last word on this subject. courts have consistently ruled that prisoners have to have access to care. this includes transgender prisoners. we believe the military will need to look at this, and come into step and standard with current medical science when it comes to transgender people. >> but should that burden fall on the taxpayers? >> well, we have the eighth amendment that says that transgender people, all people in prison have to have access to good medical care. this is a cell issue in the
courts, and we need to make sure we take responsibility for the people we're incarcerating. >> thanks to both of you. >> thank you very much, craig. >> thank you. the new jersey's governor's race -- it took a lot of turns. state of new jersey has created a corn maze with the faces of the candidates cut into it. current governor chris christie, obviously on the left there. his democratic opponent state senator right there. you saw it. stonyhill farm said he cut the maze to get people interested in the election in the garden state. that's a corny challenge. get it? frank, did you get that, corny challenge?
how 'bout we replace old and worn out with beautiful and durable. let's head to the one place with the flooring we want, the know-how we need, and low prices that won't trample our budget. then let's do some simple placing, locking... and admiring. a better-looking floor is just a few steps away. and... they're affordable steps. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. saratoga hickory laminate is a special buy. just 99 cents a square foot. i would like to introduce everyone here. ladies and gentlemen, help me
introduce and give a great big round of applause to the first lady of the united states of america miss michelle obama! >> seen from the arthur ashe kids' day, the first lady was there for the let's move campaign, encouraging children's fitness. also in our sunday political playground, the state going after the donald. the attorney general is suing donald trump for $40 million. the democrat says the star nbc's "apprentice" helped a phony university to help people get rich but drove them into useless and expensive seminars. lightweight new york attorney general is trying to extort me with a civil lawsuit he tweets. he directs people to a website that reports his school has a 98% approval rating. it seemed everyone's got
something to say about ben affleck being cast as the next batman. vermont's democratic senator tweeting this. ben's a great pick for batman, and a new englander to boot. i guess that means i'm out of the running. leahy actually has a dogfight in this fight, in that he's made cameos in four different batman movies. >> we're not intimidated by thugs. you know, you remind me of my father. i hated my father. ♪ batman ♪ batman ♪ batman >> [ male announcer ] these days, a small business can save by sharing.
like carpools... polly wants to know if we can pick her up. yeah, we can make room. yeah. [ male announcer ] ...office space. yes, we're loving this communal seating. it's great. [ male announcer ] the best thing to share? a data plan. at&t mobile share for business. one bucket of data for everyone on the plan, unlimited talk and text on smart phones. now, everyone's in the spirit of sharing. hey, can i borrow your boat this weekend? no. [ male announcer ] share more. save more. at&t mobile share for business. ♪ . out west, that devastating wildfire is tearing through northern california, and showing no signs of slowing down. the rim fire, so large and so
strong at this point, it's creating its own weather pattern. it's making it hard to figure out where it will spread next. so far, the fire has destroyed more than 200 square miles. that's about the size of chicago. right now, at least 2,700 firefighters are working to get it under control, but so far, it's just 7% contained. welcome back to msnbc on this sunday. texas senator ted cruz is unwavering in his calls to repeal obama care in its entirety, even if it results in a government shutdown. here's the senator this morning. >> obama care is the biggest job killer in this country. there's bipartisan agreement that it isn't working, that it's killing jobs, that it's forcing people to have their hours forcibly reduced to 29 hours a week, that it's driving up the cost of health insurance, that it's causing people to lose their health insurance because businesses are dropping it. >> we thought that necessitated a little sunday fact checking. joining me live, health care
reporter for the "huffington post," jeffrey young, and managing editor of fact check.org, nonpartisan. laurie, let me start with you. you looked at the impact of obama care on employment, and full-time workers. are we going to see layoffs or hours cut because of obama care? >> well, i can't really predict what might happen in the future. but the one claim we've looked at is that people seeking full-time work can only find part-time jobs. specifically the republican national committee claimed that 8.2 million americans looking for full-time work were in part-time jobs partly due to obama care. well, that 8.2 million is the total number of folks who are working part-time for economic reasons. that's according to the bureau of labor statistics. and there's not evidence from the bureau of labor statistics number that the law has had an
impact there. that number of people working part-time for economic reasons skyrocketed in 2008. and since the law was signed in 2010, it's been fluctuating. but generally, trending downward. the 8.2 million now is actually lower than the 9.1 million working part-time for economic reasons in march 2010, when the law was passed. >> jeffrey, heritage action is taking the defund obama care town halls to states this week. the fourth ranking republican in the house, kathy mcmorris rogers said last week, to get the entire bill repealed or defunded is not realistic. it is complete repeel? is it simply unrealistic, jeffrey? >> given the fact that president obama is still the president, the answer is yes, in that
respect. the president is free to sign the bill anytime he wants. if the government shuts down, that that's on him. fundamentally, barack obama's not going to sign a bill to repeal or significantly undercut his signature domestic policy achievement, period. i would be surprised to see him even be willing to make in i significant concessions about the contents of this law at this point. just a month and change before the health insurance exchanges open up. and a few months before a lot of the big provisions of the law take effect. >> laurie, seems another day, another company speaks out against the law. delta said it will cost them an extra $100 million next year. we learned, of course, this last week of u.p.s.'s plan to cut spousal coverage for roughly 15,000 employees because of increased costs under obama care, they say. the university of virginia also announced it would be following suit. you took a look at this part specifically. are these decisions the direct
result of the affordable care act? >> well, i don't know of the we haven't looked at these specific decisions from these companies. the one claim that we have looked at is there have been claims that the law doesn't include a mandate that employers cover spouses. and that's true, it doesn't. of course, there was no mandate before the law that employers cover spouses. and it is the case that some companies before u.p.s. have done this sort of thing where they've said, we're not going to cover spouses if they can get coverage through their own employer. so far, it's a pretty small percentage. there was a 2012 survey by the consulting firm mercer of employers, and 4% of pretty large employers, those with 5,000 or more employees said that they were denying coverage for spouses. >> jeffrey, 36 days now, 36 days away from open enrollment in the
health care act. you've got perry asking the obama administration for $100 million. governor rick perry from texas. $100 million from a program created part of obama care. it's almost as if there's much in the law that republicans would like if only they felt able to give the legislation a chance. if republicans could get beyond their broad side opposition, jeffrey, is there a lot that they agree with in the bill? >> well, there's a lot that republicans 10 or 20 years ago would agree with because a lot of what was in this law came from proposals from the republicans. this is a bit odd. the program perry is trying to buy into doesn't have anything to do with what most of us would think of when we think obama care. it's not about a medicaid expansion, or tax credits for people who don't get insurance at work to get cheaper health insurance. this is about people who have developmental disabilities who
now have to go into nursing homes to get treated. what this law is trying to do is make it easier for them to get cared for at home. this is an idea that the bush administration also advanced in its own way during the eight years that he was president. and what's in the obama care law just carries that a little bit further. so it's sort of a strange thing where, yeah, there's some obvious hypocrisy, so to speak, about a governor like rick perry who opposes obama care so strongly, tapping one piece of it. but at the same time, it doesn't relate to the big obama care stuff that everyone's so upset about. what we've seen, though, is the negative effects this can have on some of the people provisions like this might help. shortly after the rick perry story became public this week, jindal of louisiana decided to pull his own application for this same program. >> thanks to both of you. tonight, the annual mcdonald's 365 black awards will be broadcast on television for the first time in its ten-year
history. 11:00 p.m. eastern on b.e.t. one of this year's honorees, supermodel and actress beverly johnson. the first african-american woman to ever grace the cover of "vogue" magazine. with us live now, beverly johnson, along with mcdonald's director of marketing robert jackson. beverly, let me start with you. tonight's awards broadcast just so happens to fall on the 50th anniversary weekend of the march on washington as well. how has the civil rights movement, how has it touched your own american dream? >> well, i would most certainly say that august 1974 "vogue" cover probably wouldn't have happened, where i graced that cover, if it weren't for the civil rights movement. and i just want to thank mcdonald's for this very prestigious award, the black mcdonald operators, and also walton isaacson for the media
company for making this happen. i think it's an important award. and it comes at a very important time. >> rob mcdonald's actively reaching out to celebrate black heritage like the things like the 365 black platform. how does the awards ceremony tonight, how does that fit in with the mcdonald's brand? >> well, tonight's award ceremony is really about inspiring, celebrating and creating recognition for african-americans who make outstanding contributions to their particular communities and to the country at large. we're really excited about that. and our 365 black platform is really part of our cultural marketing initiative that allows us to engage consumers on a cultural platform that is interesting, and exciting for them. >> beverly, it's been nearly 40 years. a lot of folks probably don't believe that, 40 years since you made news. >> yes.
>> again, it seems to fly by. but how far, in terms of, you know, cover women like yourself, how far has the fashion industry come since then in integrating black beauty into the mainstream? >> well, it's come a long ways, i like to say. i like to say that there's a global approach, meaning that women all over the world are -- of color are being brought into the fashion industry. i would be remiss to say that there are still very few african-american, or women of color on our runways today. >> why is that? >> which is disturbing. >> why is that? >> i don't know. >> but you've probably got some ideas? >> well, i mean, i've heard them say that, you know, it messes up -- it's a trend. and i say that african-americans and women of color are not a trend. we are human beings.
and that also, all i can say is that, you know, we participate -- african-american women and african americans participate in the fashion industry in enormous ways. and that we should most certainly be able to participate in every way. particularly in the displaying of the fashion shows. and of fashion, which we contribute in so many ways to the fashion trends of today. it started in the african-american communities. >> rob jackson, beverly, congrats again. >> thank you. and then there's this on a sunday afternoon. it's news that's got the literary scene snapping its fingers. a new film about the late j.d. salinger is due out this week. and as if that's not enough, the film's companion book, or the book claims that they're set to
public five new books by the reclusive "catcher in the rye" author. those books are due out as early as 2015. ♪ [ crashing ] [ male announcer ] when your favorite food starts a fight, fight back fast with tums. heartburn relief that neutralizes acid on contact and goes to work in seconds. ♪ tum, tum tum tum tums!
teps of thousands descended on washington this weekend to retrace the steps of the civil rights movement. i found the city much changed from its very dark past. >> we are the symbol of the segregated south. but we are also a symbol of good things that can come out of tragedy. >> william bell grew up in plaque and white birmingham. >> everybody had a place and everybody stayed in their place. >> now he leads it. mayor bell spent much of the past year planning to help his city remember its darkest days.
>> when we first started talking about how we could commemorate 1963, some people said, why dig up the past, why not let sleeping dogs lie. but it's part of who we are. it's part of our dna. >> a massive series of racial demonstrations this afternoon. >> 50 years ago, the world was watching birmingham. the last most segregated city in the south, as civil rights leaders moved in to demand change. birmingham was not giving up without a fight. >> officers quickly moved in to make the arrest. >> only one way left. that's economics. >> characters like bull connor, hatred personified. police attacking school children with hoses and dogs. and the bombings. >> between the late 1940s and mid-'60s, there were 50 unsolved bombings in birmingham alone. so many in fact, the city itself earned the nickname. folks started calling it bombingham.
it was the one that happened here on a sunday in september 1963 that awakened the country and changed the movement. >> we were having such a good time. my sister had this little black purse. we have was running and catching it, like we was playing ball. we laughed and played all the way to church. >> church was 16th street baptist. the place where organizers planned many of the movement's marches, and where thousands of kids swarmed out to oppose the jim crow laws. she remembers that morning like it was yesterday. she and her older sister joined the group of little girls changing into their choir robes in the bathroom. >> i heard a loud sound, boom! and it just scared me so bad. it was so loud, all i could call was, jesus! and i called addi, addi, addi. and i didn't know what had
happened, because i was blind from the glass coming from the -- >> rudolph lost an eye and her sister. 14-year-old addi may, along with denise mcnair. 22 others were hurt. a group of ku kulux klansmen wee responsible. >> you had people taking introspection on what happened. if a church is not off-limits, if the sanctuary of god is not off-limits, if people are so malice and mean spirited to bomb a church, what has become of our nation. >> the shattered innocence helped galvanize people, to push for passage of the civil rights act in 1964, and the voting rights act a year later. the bombing, and everything else that happened in birmingham, also created a city that has a
complicated relationship with its past. >> oftentimes when the national media, or anyone talks about birmingham, they think of the dogs and the hose pipes. they think of the tragedy of birmingham. but they don't think about those people who came together to say, we will make the change. >> modern-day birmingham is a testament to those who fought for that change. a thriving downtown business quarter, first-class hospitals and even talking of landing an nba team. >> nelson mandela said one of the things that encouraged him during his 26 years of incarceration in south africa, is if change can come to birmingham in the american south, then change could come to south africa. ber! with new phillips' fiber good gummies. they're fruity delicious! just two gummies have 4 grams of fiber!
and who got it? this guy. and who got it? this guy. and who got it? this guy. that's right... [ male announcer ] it's the car you won't stop talking about. ever. hurry in to the volkswagen best. thing. ever. event. and get 0% apr for 60 months, now until september 3rd. that's the power of german engineering.
i am not going to stand by and let the supreme court take away the right to vote from us. you cannot stand by. you cannot sit down. you got to stand up, speak up, speak out and get in the way. >> that was congressman john lewis speaking yesterday. just as fiery as he was 50 years ago on the steps of the licncol memorial. same spot from where he addressed the crowd. the brain trust is back. esther, bob, peter, thanks for coming back. esther, let me start with you. this wednesday president obama will be on the same steps addressing the nation on the same day that dr. king made that "i have a dream" speech. collin powell was on this morning and he was asked on face the nation if president obama should be more of an advocate for civil rights. take a listen to his response.
>> he has a responsibility to the whole country. and i think he should speak out on these issues. not just because he is the first black president but because set president of the united states. and this is a problem that affects all of america. not just black america. >> does president obama have a special responsibility? >> it is always interesting when that question is asked. i think when people ask if he has a special responsibility, it always implies that there is something about african-americans that make them less citizens. president obama has a responsibility to all-americans. african-americans are americans. and so i feel like, part of what represent progress is that question should no longer be asked. it is the same thing as saying, nobody ever asked the lbgtq kmubikmu community, they are americans. it is always to me a moot point.
but it speaks to the ways in dh both historically and presently african-americans were segregated. part of the legacy of the march, i think, for the people, less for politician is, and more for us a. >> a people, is how do we learn about the real work of the civil rights movement. that was the power of coalitions. how do you bring different coalitions together in order to advocate what martin luther king, jr.'s speech was about. which was not a dream, but a plan. >> tavis smiley, especially critical of the president's record. not just leader of the african-american community but leader of american general. he wrote, i hope obama rises to the challenge to be truly king-like, not just king-lite. has the president in some way, bob, invited criticism by speaking from the same place as dr. king? >> well, i suppose.
but it certainly is appropriate. he is, after all, the first african-american president of the united states. he is the symbol of the dream that martin luther king, jr. was describing 50 years ago. so it is appropriate, of course. the problem is for him, is that he is to use a cliche, following a great act, 50 years later. he is going to have his speech compared to martin luther king, jr.'s immediately. and that is a tough comparison. >> and speech writers, peter, have already said, you know, it's not going to be anything like the "i have a dream" speech. we do know the president reached out to john lewis specifically to get insight into what it was like that day 50 years ago. what do you think that we will -- first of all, what do you think we will hear from president obama in what do you think we should hear from president obama wednesday? >> i think the best keys to what we will hear or might hear are the speeches that obama has given on race in the past and also his first book "dreams from
my father" which was a book about his journey as a black man in america. and you know, this has always been an extraordinarily personal issue for obama understandably so. and he's always spoken with incredible really extraordinary grace on this issue and been able to talk to people and really talk to all of america in the way that he should and i think that that's what we should expect to hear and we should expect to hear that kind of, i think extraordinary, i think, ability to talk about this personal issue for him, later this week. >> 10 second. hard 10 second. >> disstichkss matter. president obama is an elected official. martin luther king, jr. was never elected by anybody. and so the comparisons are in awith a cancerous. what works, what is important is the plan that martin luther king, jr. envisioned through the "i have a dream" speech. so the question is, what is the president's plan for the inequality that martin luther king, jr. and entire movement spoke of?
>> esther armor, thank you. >> bob franken, and for reason magazine, thanks for you for watching this sunday afternoon. i'll be back at 2:00 eastern. first, disrupt with karen finney. have a great sunday evening. alin i'd be sitting there with my friends who had their verizon phones and i'd be sitting there like "mine's still loading!" i couldn't get email. i couldn't stream movies. i couldn't upload any of our music. that's when i decided to switch. now that i'm on verizon, everything moves fast. with verizon, i have that reliability. i'm completely happy with verizon. verizon's 4g lte is the most reliable and in more places than any other 4g network. period. that's powerful. verizon. get the nokia lumia 928 for free. so you want to drive more safely? of smart. stop eating. take deep breaths. avoid bad weather. [ whispers ] get eight hours. ♪ [ shouts over music ] turn it down! and, of course, talk to farmers. hi. hi. ♪ we are farmers bum - pa - dum, bum - bum - bum - bum ♪
thanks for disrupting your sunday afternoon. i'm karen finney. i say, you know what, go for it. >> if we see a grass roots tsunami, that is going to cause republicans and democrats to listen to the people. >> god help us if he ever does get to be anything more than the senator from texas. >> it is going to tick a tsunami and i'm going to do everything i can to encourage that tsunami. >> let's let the man with grass roots common sense. then watch america go, my friend. >> we are going to take back